“The West Wing” and renewable energy


As part of my post-election therapy I’m watching every episode of The West Wing. For those who don’t remember the show, it’s a soap opera set in the White House of President Jeb Barrlett, a Nobel-prize winning economist played by Martin Sheen. His White House is filled with smart, hard-working, dedicated public servants just trying to keep the wheels on the bus while dealing with budgets, terrorist attacks, and unspoken love. It’s reassuring to listen to the President talk in complete sentences and actually hear intelligent discussions of important policies. Even the Republicans are smart and doing what they believe to be believe to be the best for the country.

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The Carbon tax on the ballot is very right wing, and that’s OK

In an earlier post, I said that I-732, the proposal on the Washington State Ballot to create a revenue-neutral carbon tax, is “a very right-wing policy (which doesn’t necessarily make it bad)”. Since I wrote that, I bumped into the author of I-732, economist Yoram Bauman, while taking a walk in Fremont. He said something that I found interesting, that he thinks I-732 is a moderate proposal, halfway between the right and the left. I disagree, and I’ll explain why here.

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My thoughts on Initiative 732, Washington’s proposed carbon tax

There’s been a lot of ink spilt about the CarbonWA proposal to introduce a carbon tax in Washington State. Most environmental groups are part of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and are not supporting I-732, which is somewhat surprising. After a short search, the only long-standing organizations I could find that support I-732 were Audubon and Sightline (for those who want a more in depth analysis, I strongly recommend Sightline’s three part series). My goal here is to give a brief description of I-732, describe why some people don’t support it, and give my personal thoughts to its strengths and weaknesses. My conclusion is I think you should vote for it (unless you think that climate change isn’t real, in which case, go jump in a lake that used to be a glacier).

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Hillary is an Order Muppet; Donald is a Chaos Muppet

The Presidential race now makes sense to me. I just realized that Hillary is an Order Muppet and Donald is a Chaos Muppet. This is based on the theory that we are all either Order Muppets (Kermit, Bert, Sam the Eagle) or Chaos Muppets (Animal, Miss Piggy, Gonzo).

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